Los Angeles County tops the list of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) very first National Risk Index, which ranks all 3,006 counties in the United States based on their vulnerability to 18 kinds of natural disasters.
From tornadoes and hurricanes to avalanches and wildfires, all forms of natural disasters are not only measured by the potential damage they might cause, but by how prepared a county is to respond to the damage and recover.
With a combination of earthquakes, wildfires, drought and heat waves Southern California in general ranked highly, but Los Angeles County was catapulted to the top by additional variables such as the size of the county’s population, how socially vulnerable the population is, and how adequately an area can go back to normal.
One of the local wildfires that was factored into calculations by the National Risk Index was the impact of the Lake Fire, which burned in the Angeles National Forest just north of Santa Clarita from mid-August through late September of 2020, decimating homes and properties.
With a population of just under 10 million people, the size of Los Angeles makes it a primary target for natural disasters with a large number of people affected.
Other SoCal counties that made it to the top ten include Riverside County at No. 7 and San Bernardino County at No. 9.
Although COVID-19 was not a factor in this year’s ranking, Los Angeles is considered one of the epicenters for the virus, currently leading the nation in both cumulative cases and total deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 tracking data.
To learn more, visit the National Risk Index website.
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